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Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Kari Stefansson, DeCode Genetics Inc.'s chief executive officer, made good on a promise to create new ways to identify disease-linked genes. Now his company is struggling to survive after taking too long to convert its many discoveries into profits.

Stefansson, 59, may have to sell assets, including gene tests for cancer and heart disease and a genetic profiling service, to save DeCode, the company said in an Oct. 15 statement. After burning through $676.2 million, DeCode has few prospects for raising cash amid the global credit crunch and in a country struggling with a collapsed banking system.

DeCode, based in Reykjavik, Iceland, has been among the most prolific in using new techniques to identify genetic variations that raise the risk of disease, said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego. In a conference call tomorrow, Stefansson may detail his plans to sell off DeCode's assets and salvage what is left of the company's gene research.

``Their contributions are enormous,'' Topol said in a Nov. 4 telephone interview. ``They've made more contributions...